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Pop Culture

People reveal 12 everyday things that have gotten so expensive they can't afford them anymore

And a few hints on great bargains in today's economy, too.

two people standing in front of a food truck and a dog lying on a sofa
Photo (left) by Joana Godinho on Unsplash, Photo (right) by Robert Larsson on Unsplash

From food truck food to pet care, people are feeling priced out of things that used to be affordable.

Despite record unemployment, a booming stock market and easing inflation, Americans are still feeling squeezed at the cash register. We knew the pandemic was going to cause economic woes, and to be fair, things could be a lot worse, but that doesn't ease the shock of seeing the total on a receipt that's far more than we used to pay.

A user on Reddit asked, "What’s gotten so expensive that you no longer purchase it?" and it opened floodgate of financial experiences and feelings. Life in general seems like it's becoming unaffordable for many of us.

"I feel like I can’t walk out of my front door without automatically spending $20," shared one person.

"For me, that was over ten years ago. These days leaving the house is a minimum $50," quipped another.

Certain purchases and activities are putting a much bigger dent in our pocketbook than they used to, so if you've been feeling it, take solace in the fact that you're not alone. Here are the things people said they simply can't afford anymore because the prices have gotten too high, along with some savings tips for making some of your favorite things more affordable:


Restaurants

"Me and the wife would have Friday as a more relaxing evening. We have 3 kids. We would always vary and order take away. Take away has gone from $30ish to $50, $60, $70 for the same stuff plus increased delivery charges. Not worth it anymore." – Ok-Stuff-8803

Family of 4, I feel your pain. We didn't go out (or order in) weekly, but it was a fairly common occurrence. Now it's a rarity, and its usually tied to a special occasion. It's frustrating because I feel like my family's standard of living is declining, even though I am progressing in my career and making more money. – Robbie-R

"GF and I used to eat out at a sit down restaurant once a week, now it’s more like once a month if that. It’s gotten crazy expensive." – largecontainer

Yep, fast food, too

"I was at a party the other night and a friend of mine randomly came in with a bucket of chicken from KFC. I was SHOCKED at how expensive it was. Pretty sure it was damn near 40 bucks." – Touch_My_Nips

"McDonalds. Not that I can't afford it, but I am not paying the current prices for cheap, processed food for on the go. They are trying to be fancier, they should accept who they are and stick to be being cheap and convenient, it has always worked for them." – TrixieLurker

"Two and a half years ago they still had the 2 for $2 menu and any size soft drink was a dollar. Now it’s the 2 for $3.99 and a medium soda is $1.19." – king-of-the-sea

fish and chips food truck

Food trucks used to be a cheap alternative to sit-down restaurants.

Photo by Joana Godinho on Unsplash

Even the food trucks

"Food from food trucks. I'm not spending $15 for a grilled cheese that I have to wait in the rain for." – just_hating

"Food truck the other day was charging $20 for a basic chicken sandwich. No sides just meat and bread. I’m officially baffled by the world." – No-Statement9809

"I remember when food trucks used to represent simple finger food that was a cheaper alternative to restaurants (especially taco trucks; used to be like 3 for $8! Now, these f**king places are charging $15-$25 for a smaller sized plate than a sit-down restaurant. I have written them off entirely." – Fated47

Mobile apps

"Mobile apps. I’m absolutely infuriatingly tired of subscription services. The worst is that they let you download the app so they can claim it as a download, only to get stonewalled by a subscription page. Let’s go back to a one time fee please." – SmallRocks

"Most of them don’t even have a free trial. They’re free-to-download for marketing purposes, then immediately make you pay to use. Sh*t should be illegal." – ItsMeCyrie

"Add in app updates that removed features and put them behind a paywall 😢" – Mamasgoldenmilk

crowd at a concert

Concert ticket prices have gone berserk.

Photo by Anthony DELANOIX on Unsplash

Concert tickets

"I bought two sets of tickets this year for bands I've wanted to see for over 20 years. One concert cost me $600 for two tickets and the other was $300 for two. The ridiculous part of it all is that the fees alone cost more than one ticket. I can stomach $100-$150 for good seats to a band I like, I can't stomach another $150 in fees." – Syikho

"As someone who spends a lot of money on music $300 for a ticket to see a single band, maybe 2 or 3 with openers, for one night is ridiculous. Last few years I’ve been doing a music festival cruise and feel like I get the most bang for my buck. 6 days of music with 30+ bands mixed in with a tropical vacation for under 2k." – Newone1255

"Yeah, I grew up relatively poor and still got to see countless shows. Luckily a lot of my favorite bands were small-time and I could see them in tiny, cheap venues, but still several times a year I was seeing world-famous bands.

"It is literally prohibitively expensive to the average person to see concerts regularly anymore. And I don’t even f**k with arena shows." – robotatomica

Chips, cereal and soda

"Dude, $7 for Doritos is NUTS. Even store brand chips are getting pricey." – trafficrush

"Ditto with cereal! The boxes have gotten so small and they’re like $7!" – thenisaidbitch

"Soda. Used to enjoy a sprite occasionally. I'm just not paying 3 or 4 dollars at this point for sugar water that kills my insides." – SmokeLawn

"No snack food. Pretty much just buying staples/meat/dairy/fruit/veg and making everything from scratch. Ultra processed food is terrible for you anyway." – _manicpixie

SAVINGS TIP: Shop Aldi

"Aldi is the only place I will buy cereal anymore. $2.15 a box vs $6." – Moronmagnet72

"My uber picky kid LOVES Aldi brand cereal. Thank god." – peachy_sam

remote pointed at a tv with the netflix logo on it

Streaming services keep raising their prices while canceling our favorite shows.

Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

Streaming services

"Netflix is about to be that way. They're gonna do another price hike later this year and that's just laughable to me. Blows my mind that they can cancel damn near every show that they produce in three seasons or less and then have the audacity to keep wanting people to pay more. Like, I'm not even exaggerating when I say that I've probably watched more than fifty Netflix original series over the past several years and that less than a dozen of them made it past three seasons or gotten proper endings." – IDoBelieveInGarys

"I cancelled Netflix back when they stopped allowing password sharing (I share it with family) and just cancelled Disney+ and Hulu for the same reason. HBO Max and Paramount get my money until they do something stupid too." – TrilobiteBoi

"I canceled all of my subscriptions except one and will be canceling the last one in the next month or so. They’re too expensive- Hulu, prime, Netflix- it’s just cable all over again." – Dementedstapler

SAVINGS TIP: Streaming service cycling

"Years ago I decided that the best thing to do is just cycle through streaming subscriptions one at a time. Right now I've got Disney+/Hulu. If I find that I've watched everything on there and I'm bored of it and there's nothing else coming soon that I want I'll cancel it and move on to HBO or Netflix or whatever and catch up on all the stuff that's come out since the last time I had that service. I don't really care that I'm not able to watch every show that's great right when it comes out." – tenehemia

"We need to normalize regularly cancelling memberships. No one's giving you a discount the longer you stay and resubscribing doesn't cost anything extra. I'll gladly wait until Netflix / Hulu / Whoever releases a few shows I want to watch, pay for a month to watch them, then cancel again." – Fine_on_the_outside·

Manicures and pedicures

"I don't visit nail salons at all anymore." – mondaysareturds

"i was coming to say this. i used to do mani/pedi twice a month before covid. but now it’s $50 before tip for REGULAR not gel not acrylic and that’s just insane to me. i’m from nyc when i was a kid (im 25) mani/pedi was $15." – Neat-Lawfulness9586

"Same here, I used to go once a month to treat myself now I can't even afford just to go once a year." – UnicornTurtle_

SAVINGS TIP: Beauty school salons

"If you can find a beauty school, go there. Great prices, the students are watched by teachers and they do a great job. And the beauty school where I go has coupons, and discount days for different things. It's really worth looking into.

That's where I get my hair colored/cut too. I've got long hair (middle of the back) and I can get something that would cost $300+ at a salon, for like $100 +tip. And if you don't like what you got, they will go out of their way to fix it." – Ihavefluffycats

dog lying on the sofa

Feeding our furry friends is pricey enough, but vet bills are something else.

Photo by Robert Larsson on Unsplash

Pet care

"Having a pet :( I’ve had pets my whole life, but lost my last cat a few years ago. I miss having a companion but I know I cannot afford beyond basic care right now or an emergency if it were to arise." – No-Ambassador-6984

"Our 12 year -old cat had bladder stones and needed surgery a couple of years ago. The bill came to like $7500 🫠" – Noisycarlos

"I feel your pain. I worked as a veterinary technician. My last job gave us 40% off. I couldn’t afford bloodwork for my diabetic cat. When I quit that job for something that paid better and wasn’t going to break my body, I realized I had 4 pets and no discounts! I almost kept my license so I could moonlight for some savings. I’m on pins and needles if anyone sneezes in the house." – wisemonkey101

"This is true. Vet bills are insane. Boarding is so expensive I look for pet friendly AirBNBs when going on vacation because the pet fee is tiny by comparison." – Got_Cabin_Fever

SAVINGS TIP: Foster animals instead of adopting

"Have you considered fostering? You give them all the love and they (shelter/rescue organization) pay the bills!" – conflictmuffin

"My nearby shelter just put a plea out for fosters because they are way over capacity. I’ve fostered a lot, and sometimes it can be hard to say good bye but it a truly good kind of pain." – imadoggomom

"Lots of my military friends do this and they are genuinely so happy with the arrangement! Good luck." – savannigray

via Pixabay

A sad-looking Labrador Retriever

The sweet-faced, loveable Labrador Retriever is no longer America’s favorite dog breed. The breed best known for having a heart of gold has been replaced by the smaller, more urban-friendly French Bulldog.

According to the American Kennel Club, for the past 31 years, the Labrador Retriever was America’s favorite dog, but it was eclipsed in 2022 by the Frenchie. The rankings are based on nearly 716,500 dogs newly registered in 2022, of which about 1 in 7 were Frenchies. Around 108,000 French Bulldogs were recorded in the U.S. in 2022, surpassing Labrador Retrievers by over 21,000.


The French Bulldog’s popularity has grown exponentially over the past decade. They were the #14 most popular breed in 2012, and since then, registrations have gone up 1,000%, bringing them to the top of the breed popularity rankings.

The AKC says that the American Hairless Terrier, Gordon Setter, Italian Greyhound and Anatolian Shepherd Dog also grew in popularity between 2021 and 2022.

The French Bulldog was famous among America’s upper class around the turn of the 20th century but then fell out of favor. Their resurgence is partly based on several celebrities who have gone public with their Frenchie love. Leonardo DiCaprio, Megan Thee Stallion, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, Reese Witherspoon and Lady Gaga all own French Bulldogs.

The breed earned a lot of attention as show dogs last year when a Frenchie named Winston took second place at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show and first in the National Dog Show.

The breed made national news in early 2021 when Gaga’s dog walker was shot in the chest while walking two of her Frenchies in a dog heist. He recovered from his injuries, and the dogs were later returned.

They’ve also become popular because of their unique look and personalities.

“They’re comical, friendly, loving little dogs,” French Bull Dog Club of America spokesperson Patty Sosa told the AP. She said they are city-friendly with modest grooming needs and “they offer a lot in a small package.”

They are also popular with people who live in apartments. According to the AKC, Frenchies don’t bark much and do not require a lot of outdoor exercise.

The French Bulldog stands out among other breeds because it looks like a miniature bulldog but has large, expressive bat-like ears that are its trademark feature. However, their popularity isn’t without controversy. “French bulldogs can be a polarizing topic,” veterinarian Dr. Carrie Stefaniak told the AP.

american kennel club, french bulldog, most popular dog

An adorable French Bulldog

via Pixabay

French Bulldogs have been bred to have abnormally large heads, which means that large litters usually need to be delivered by C-section, an expensive procedure that can be dangerous for the mother. They are also prone to multiple health problems, including skin, ear, and eye infections. Their flat face means they often suffer from respiratory problems and heat intolerance.

Frenchies are also more prone to spine deformations and nerve pain as they age.

Here are the AKC’s top ten most popular dog breeds for 2022.

1 French Bulldogs

2 Labrador Retrievers

3 Golden Retrievers

4 German Shepherd Dogs

5 Poodles

6 Bulldogs

7 Rottweilers

8 Beagles

9 Dachshunds

10 German Shorthaired Pointers


This article originally appeared on 03.17.23

Family

Dad shares family's confusion when his young son demanded 'people chicken' for dinner

It took them awhile to figure it out, but once you see it, you can't unsee it.

"People chicken" sounds…disturbing

One of the best parts of having kids is having a full-time, front row seat to the way they interpret and use language as they grow. There's the classic mispronunciations of "spaghetti," of course, but there are also one-of-a-kind terms they coin based on their limited vocabulary and the unique way they look at the world.

Kids say the darnedest things, and as Dillon White shared on Instagram, one of those darned things could be a young child requesting "people chicken" for dinner. Not just requesting, but demanding: "I WANT PEOPLE CHICKEN!!"

People chicken. There are only so many ways to interpret that, all of which could land you on the FBI's radar.

Of course, it was a small child saying this, so there had to be an explanation.

White explained that he and his wife tried everything to get their kiddo to clarify what he meant by "people chicken," including having him draw a picture of what he was wanting. Unfortunately, the stick figure person he drew did not help relieve any concerns that their child might be a cannibal.

Finally, White's 7-year-old daughter came up with a solution that revealed what her younger brother wanted. It was not, in fact, chicken made out of people. Phew.

Watch:

It's true. Once you see Colonel Sanders' bow tie as a stick figure, you can't unsee it.

Even KFC's official account responded to the video, writing, "You see it once, and you can't unsee it." HA.

White was not alone in his kid seeing the stick figure Col. Sanders.

"The SAME thing (conversation) happened to us 22 years ago!! My toddler was practically throwing himself trying to make us understand that he wanted 'Old Man Chicken'!!!!!! And yup, it was KFC he was asking for. We have referred to it as ‘Old Man Chicken’ all these years now 😂!!" shared on commenter.

"About halfway through we figured out what he was talking about but that’s only because my kids have been saying for years that the KFC man is a stick figure with a really big head. Tell Mason he’s not the only kid who thought that.Lol 😂😂😂" shared another.

"I think I’ve been working with children too long because the instant you said people chicken my brain said 'that’s kfc,' 😂 wrote another.

Other people chimed in to share their kids' hilarious naming conventions for chicken places:

"My son was in tears for 'Pinky Toe.' Turns out he thought the Chick-fil-A emblem was a foot 😂," wrote one parent.

"Lol. My daughter refers to Chick-fil-A as 'foot' because their logo actually reserved a footprint. So interesting thinking of the different ways that children see things that we adults don't. It's amazing!" shared another.

"My kids call Buffalo Wild Wings 'stinky skunks' because from a distance, the logo looks like a skunk to them. We went through a similar very confusing moment to figure that one out as you can imagine, 🤦♀️🤣" shared another.

White is right. We should let kids name everything. They're so much better at it than adults are.

You can follow Dillon White on Instagram here and TikTok here.


This article originally appeared on 2.7.24

Island School Class, circa 1970s.

Parents, do you think your child would be able to survive if they were transported back to the '70s or '80s? Could they live at a time before the digital revolution put a huge chunk of our lives online?

These days, everyone has a phone in their pocket, but before then, if you were in public and needed to call someone, you used a pay phone. Can you remember the last time you stuck 50 cents into one and grabbed the grubby handset?

According to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, roughly 100,000 pay phones remain in the U.S., down from 2 million in 1999.

Do you think a 10-year-old kid would have any idea how to use a payphone in 2022? Would they be able to use a Thomas Guide map to find out how to get somewhere? If they stepped into a time warp and wound up in 1975, could they throw a Led Zeppelin album on the record player at a party?


Another big difference between now and life in the '70s and '80s has been public attitudes toward smoking cigarettes. In 1965, 42.4% of Americans smoked and now, it’s just 12.5%. This sea change in public opinion about smoking means there are fewer places where smoking is deemed acceptable.

But in the early '80s, you could smoke on a bus, on a plane, in a movie theater, in restaurants, in the classroom and even in hospitals. How would a child of today react if their third grade teacher lit up a heater in the middle of math class?

Dan Wuori, senior director of early learning at the Hunt Institute, tweeted that his high school had a smoking area “for the kids.” He then asked his followers to share “something you experienced as a kid that would blow your children’s minds.”


A lot of folks responded with stories of how ubiquitous smoking was when they were in school. While others explained that life was perilous for a kid, whether it was the school playground equipment or questionable car seats.

Here are a few responses that’ll show today’s kids just how crazy life used to be in the '70s and '80s.

First of all, let’s talk about smoking.

Want to call someone? Need to get picked up from baseball practice? You can’t text mom or dad, you’ll have to grab a quarter and use a pay phone.

People had little regard for their kids’ safety or health.

You could buy a soda in school.

Things were a lot different before the internet.

Remember pen pals?

A lot of people bemoan the fact that the children of today aren’t as tough as they were a few decades back. But that’s probably because the parents of today are better attuned to their kids’ needs so they don't have to cheat death to make it through the day.

But just imagine how easy parenting would be if all you had to do was throw your kids a bag of Doritos and a Coke for lunch and you never worried about strapping them into a car seat?


This article originally appeared on 06.08.22

Representative image from Canva

This Mother's Day, give mom what she really wants—a break.

Mother’s Day is upon us again. And for many, that means trying to pick the perfect gift that makes mom feel special. But what exactly is that gift? For many well-intentioned partners, the answer to this question feels elusive.

However, according to mom Madison Barbosa, all moms only really want one thing. And it’s not something you’ll find in a gift guide.

In a video posted to her TikTok, Barbosa jokingly points a figure at the camera while saying, Mother’s Day is coming. I’m looking at you. Yeah I’m looking at you…what are you gonna do for her? I’m gonna tell you what to do.”


According to Barbosa, moms aren't looking for a break away from their family. What she wants is a day where she can “turn her brain off. Where she doesn't have to have the mental load for one day. Take off the mental load for one day.”

What exactly does this look like? Barbosa breaks it down, step by step.

“Here's what you're gonna do. She's gonna wake up. You're not gonna say, ‘What do you want to do today? We can do anything you want.’ Nope, nope, no. You're gonna plan something. Whether that's going to the zoo, going to the park, going for a walk, you're gonna plan something that she does not have to think twice about. Not gonna ask her what she wants to eat. You're gonna plan that shit too. Don't ask her any questions.”

And in case there’s any confusion, packaging is most definitely part of this planning process. Including the diaper bag.

“When she goes to pack up the diaper bag, she gets ready, she gets packed the diaper bag. It's already packed. Do you understand? It's already packed. Exactly as she would do it. Exactly. You better, you better pack that diaper bag the night before. You wake up an hour before her, and you pack that diaper bag. Make sure all the shit's in there. All you need to do is let her shut her brain off,” she said.

Lastly, Barbosa says that in addition to the glorious day of brainlessness, moms do enjoy physical gifts like flowers and thoughtful cards, contrast to what some might say. Just make sure the message on the cards is “thoughtful.” And, as one viewer pointed out, make sure the flowers are arranged in a vase. Again, mental load.

Watch below. Warning: there are a few f-bombs thrown in for dramatic flair.

@madison_barbosa yall need me to send this to your husbands? no joke ill do it 🤟🏻 #mothersday #relatablemomcontent #momhumor #momminmads #unfilteredmom ♬ original sound - Madison Barbosa

Barbosa’s video, which quickly racked up over 115,000 views, left many moms nodding in agreement.

“I just want a cinnamon roll and not to be asked questions,” one chimed.

Another added, Sending this to my husband NOW!!! Bc this is EXACTLY what I want!”

Still, there wasn’t unanimous agreement on the “being with family” portion of Barbosa’s suggestions.

“Speak for yourself,” one mom wrote. “I would love a day by myself.”

This could have to do with what chapter of motherhood each woman is in. Upworthy previously learned that moms of younger children are the ones who typically want a solo day, while moms of adult children tend to crave the bonding time. And teen/tween moms just want to be appreciated.

Honestly, now matter what stage these mothers are in, is any of that too much to ask? We think not.

Representative Image from Canva

There's no way they didn't understand what she was saying.

Okay, so maybe dogs don’t understand everything we tell them exactly as a human would. But is that gonna stop us from having full blown conversations with them? Of course not. And the times they do seem to comprehend what’s being communicated—pure comedy.

Take this dog mom’s hilarious pre-grooming pep talk with Shih-Tzus Branston, Pickle and Gizmo. She minced no words telling them exactly how this trip was gonna go. And the message seemed to be received.

Branston (the troublemaker, apparently) got a firm warning of what not to do, including telling white lies about his upbringing.

“I don’t need you running in telling the first dog you see that this is what this is what your hair used to look like when you lived in the Bronx running up and down the block, cause I know for a fact, Branston, that you live in a rural village,” she tells him.

Viewers, however, seemed on board with Branston’s Bronx-affiliation, even if it was a little white lie. One person joked, “don’t be mad at the treats that I got, I’m still Branny from the block.”

In the video, Branston is also instructed to not tell everyone that he “identifies as a BUll Mastiff,” which gets the most adorable look of disappointment for wee little Branston.

As for Gizmo and Pickle—mom’s best advice is to pretend like they don’t know Branston.

Perhaps the best part is mom’s British accent, which makes the entire clip feel like something pulled straight outta “Ted Lasso.” That, or the complete shock the Shih-tzu trio has at being informed of their weight class.

Watch:

@branstonandpickle01 Your NOT from the Bronx and you never ran up and down the block!! #dogsoftiktok #peptalktoyourdog #branstonwehavearrived #shihtzusoftiktok #peptalkbranston #funnydogvideos #funnyvideos #nyc #bronx #funny #dogs #dogtok ♬ original sound - Branston,Pickle&Gizmo

Perhaps Branston, Pickle, and Gizmo’s mom isn’t totally off-base by giving them a talking to. According to the website allshihtzu.com, this breed had a “unique intelligence,” which gets best demonstrated by their attuned, empathic connection to their human families. Meaning that while they might not have the same kind of smarts as border collies or other herding dogs, their super power is picking up social cues.

And, again, even if they had no earthly idea what their mom was saying, odds are she’d still be talking to them anyway. Why? Because pets are our babies. And baby talk is fun.jk